Last year was spent observing grown people who were seeking to lead and inform the Free World calling each other names. This year has begun with little promise of a different approach. One might say the adults we have hired to govern us and those who are paid millions to report about them are all acting like children. However, my memories of childhood belie that comparison. It seems to me our leaders and their detractors would benefit from a re-taking of grade school where the rules were clear: Get along or get out; Pay attention or pay the consequences; Tell the truth or be quiet; and the Golden Rule of Describing Others – If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything!
The reasons these rules sound so familiar is because they have been the touchstone for civilized behavior since we came out of our caves. They are valid, easy to remember and rarely applied. That is why we keep having to re-learn them, the hard way. Sometimes the re-learning only costs embarrassment; sometimes it takes economic catastrophe or even war.
Gentle Reader, are you about fed up with politicians and news anchors engaging in behaviors that would get them stood in the corner if they were in grade school? Are we not paying enough in taxes and for advertised products to get a functioning government and civilized language and demeanor?
There is a solution. Turn off the television!
If the politicians and pundits have no audience they will have no reason to play to it.
Peg and I have made a concentrated effort to eschew the nightly diatribes and do other things with our time. Of course Peg, being Peg, has taken advantage of this to find even more tasks that I must get done. That’s okay; it’s better than watching adults engage in a perpetual food fight.
P.S. For a more advanced exposition of this theory see the Robert Fulghum book
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.